Chandler, Ariz. (April 30, 2021) -Trey Muse leaned forward and put his hands on his knees Friday night. He looked toward midfield, perhaps trying to decipher what transpired.
The 21-year-old San Diego Loyal SC goalkeeper had made standout saves throughout the night but it was not enough in a 4-1 loss against host Phoenix Rising FC in the USL Championship season opener for both teams.
Muse stopped shot after shot in his debut with SD Loyal but it was Jon Bakero (39th minute), Santi Moar (55th), Aodhan Quinn (67th) and (Kevon Lambert (80th) found the net for the home side at its inaugural match at its new Wild Horse Pass Stadium. Muse helped keep the match close, allowing only Bakero’s goal in the first half that featured Phoenix Rising consistently attacking.
Bakero tapped in a right-footed shot after Muse blocked a Ryan Flood shot. Flood sent a blast from about 20-yards out but Muse was there to block it but the ball ricocheted straight to Bakero. He didn’t waste his chance in front of a 50-percent capacity crowd at the 10,000 seat stadum.
The scoring play was part of a constant pressure by Phoenix Rising for most of the first half. Muse spent it making a handful of saves. Bakero was the first to shoot 11 minutes into the game, sending a blast high over the crossbar. Muse had to make saves on a shot by Rufat Dadashov and Solomon Asante. Dadashov also sent a shot off the right post in the 15th minute and he also thought he had scored a minute earlier. His low-rolling shot inside the right post was annulled. He was offsides.
Phoenix Rising (1-0-0, 3 points) began the second half much like the first 45 minutes. It continued to pressure with two early shots, one by Asante and Flood. Moar would give Phoenix Rising a 2-0 when he also put back a Muse save.
SD Loyal (0-1-0) cut the lead to 2-1 when Ben Spencer sent in a cross by Alejandro Guido intended for Jack Blake but it was deflected to Spencer on the pass. Spencer tapped it in from near the six-yard box for his first goal with SD Loyal.
Phoenix Rising added two more against Manager Landon Donovan’s team that began its second season in the USL. Quinn scored with a shot from the left side after a pass by Moar gave him plenty of space. He took his shot from left to right past Muse into the right wall of the SD Loyal net. Kevon Lambert closed out the scoring by sending a low shot inside the right post.
This was the first of three consecutive SD Loyal road matches. It will next travel to face RGVFC Toros Thursday May 6 at H-E-B Park.
Phoenix Rising FC: Phoenix Rising FC: 24. Andre Rawls, 2. Darnell King, 3. Tobi Adewole, 41. James Musa, 4. Ryan Flood, 27. Kevon Lambert, 10. Jon Bakero, 14. Aodhan Quinn, 20. Solomon Asante (c), 7. Santi Moar, 9. Rufat Dadashov. Coach: Rick Schantz